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Pentagon chief in Kabul for talks with Afghan leaders

Pentagon chief in Kabul for talks with Afghan leaders

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Feb 11, 2019 - 09:29

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Amid stepped-up peace diplomacy, the Pentagon chief is all set to meet President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan leaders in Kabul.

“The acting US Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, is in Afghanistaninfo-icon today for talks with both the government and Resolute Support leadership.  The talks are focused on national security concerns related to Afghanistan,” Col. Dave Butler, USFOR-A spokesperson.

Shanahan said Afghans must control their own future and be involved in ongoing peace discussions, and there were no orders to reduce US troops’ levels in Afghanistan, he added.

On his first trip as acting defense secretary, Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on Monday, stressing the involvement of the Ashraf Ghani government in talks.

Replacing Jim Mattis on last month, he said: "It is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan."

The acting defense secretary told reporters accompanying him on the unannounced trip that the US had important security interests in the region.

Scheduled to meet US commanders, Shanahan said he had no orders to cut the number of American troop in Afghanistan. However, he hailed Washington’s plans to end the war.

“The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like. It’s not about the US, it’s about Afghanistan,” Shanahan was quoted as saying by foreign media outlets.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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